We had great fun hosting family for Easter lunch last weekend – and had our first stab at cooking reindeer. Robert bought two large hunks of reindeer from one of the butchers in the Hakaniemi market hall, which Brigitte prepared into a delicious main course (with our almost-tradition of roast chicken). She took inspiration from a receipe at Food.com, replacing the water with beer and the salted pork with bacon. We also left out the turnips and potatoes, and left it cooking for much longer (c. 3 hours).
We served the reindeer with a mushroom sauce, made from dried cantrell mushrooms (a gift from our landlords who picked them last summer), lingonberry jam and finnish pickled cucumbers. Having forgotten to buy wine before the shops closed for Easter, we served sima (which is fairly appropriate considering that Vappu is not too far away…). Dessert took the form of mämmi with lots of cream – ah, what a feast!
I first had reindeer up in Lapland during last year’s fieldwork at Kilpisjärvi – it was prepared as thinned sauted slices and served with mashed potatoes and (again) lingonberry sauce (you can find recipes for this here and here). Very tasty – especially after a long day in the field! You can read quite a nice article about reindeer (and other Lappish foods) from the Guardian here (P.S. the cheese the writer mentions at the end of the article is leipäjuusto).